When I started teaching Scrivener courses, I often skipped the basics. I figured everyone knew how to use a computer, therefore they already understood this stuff. I was wrong. There are a few key concepts that many users—new and old—don’t get.
So, it made sense to me that my first instructive post here should cover the fundamentals.
Start Scrivener the way you’d start any other program on your computer. There are several places to look for the Scrivener program:
The desktop, taskbar (PC), Start menu (PC), Program Files folder (PC), Applications folder (Mac), or Dock (Mac).
Another option is to open an existing Scrivener project from your file management system (Finder on a Mac, Windows/File Explorer on a PC). This will launch Scrivener too. (This is true of most files on your computer. If you open the file for which the default program is not already running, the computer launches the relevant software as well.)
When you start Scrivener, you will see one of three things:
1. The New Project window
This window appears the first time you use Scrivener, and anytime you closed all projects before exiting the program last time (see #2). From here, you can either create a new project or open an existing one.
You can also access the New Project window when Scrivener is open by choosing File—>New Project.
2. The last project(s) you viewed
If you close Scrivener without closing your projects first—totally okay to do—it will open those same projects when you start it next time. Pretty cool, huh?
3. Nothing but the menu bar
If you start Scrivener and don’t see the New Project window or an open project, that’s okay. It just means your settings/preferences are set that way. You can still open a project via File—>Open.
You can change your settings to ensure you always see the New Project window when there’s no project open in Scrivener. Here’s how.
Mac: Go to Scrivener—>Preferences—>General, and check the box to Show Template Chooser When There Are No Projects Open.
Windows: Go to Tools—>Options—>General, and check the box to Show Start Panel When There Are No Projects Open. [Read more…]